Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AOL Layoff Package: You Stay, You Pay

Aerosmith_-_Rock_in_a_Hard_Place

BoomTown has learned that AOL is offering those who “volunteer” to leave the company now a departure package that ranges from three to nine months of pay, compared to one to four months for employees laid off in the first quarter of next year.

It’s a depressing rock-and-a-hard-place choice.

An AOL spokesperson confirmed the offer, which is part of a massive layoff of 2,500 of its 6,000-person workforce.

Earlier today, AOL said it would be letting go a big chunk of its staff, a third of its payroll, in a regulatory filing.

As reported by MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka:

The voluntary layoff program begins Dec. 4, a few days before the company spins off from Time Warner (TWX). If AOL doesn’t get enough volunteers, it will ax people on its own.

This is lousy news for employees, who are faced with a “jump now or wait to be pushed” decision, but it is designed to cheer investors: AOL says the cuts will drop its annual operating expenses by $300 million. Through the first nine months of this year, AOL’s operating expenses ran around $1.8 billion.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work